CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Cyber schemes are a growing concern in our community.

In 2021, West Virginia citizens lost almost $9 million to cyber criminals.

Schemes can be complex, and criminals will employ a variety of different techniques to get you to fall for their scams.

Common schemes include identity theft, ransomware, email compromising and fake online dating profiles.

Experts say if you experience any of these, it is important to notify the FBI right away.

“Notifying us when there is a business that’s being affected by ransomware, or whether it’s a citizen that’s been fallen for a scheme, we need to know that information to go after these actors, hold them accountable, and disrupt their activities,” said Mike Nordwall, FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent.

Special Agent Nordwall also said good cyber hygiene is an important way for people to protect themselves from internet crimes.

“I think it’s important also for good cyber hygiene. It’s good for people to make sure that all of their systems are updated and patched,” he said. “That they are using multi-factor authentication, that they are not using simple or the same passwords. All of that might seem very simple and rudimentary, but it makes a difference.”

Anyone affected by a cyber scheme can go to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center’s website. Victims can also call their local FBI to report a case. Clarksburg’s is 304-624-6200.